MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tributes for a music teacher known across South Florida for his tremendous work both in and out of the classroom are pouring in.
Rodester Brandon, teacher, conductor and mentor to many over the course of three decades, passed away Tuesday after a battle with cancer.
He lived to perform and teach music.
A former student at Miami Dade College shared his legacy.
“He just wanted to share his opinion as a professional on how you could better yourself as a musician.” Said Alain Rodriguez.
The principal conductor and founder of the Miami Wind Symphony, Brandon loved teaching music as much as performing.
He taught at the New World School Of The Arts, Miami-Dade College and Homestead High School where he was band director.
When he moved on in his career, he never forgot about those he left behind, always pushing his students to be better musicians, but most of all a better person.
“I wouldn’t be the man I am today, or where I am now without Rodester Brandon.” Said former colleague Lee Micheal Morrison.
“He let me know that his old position at the New World School Of The Arts had reopened, and I didn’t think that I was qualified, but he urged me to apply and I ended up getting that position.” Said former colleague Lee Micheal Morrison.
Friends said Brandon spent hundreds of hours mentoring students, reminding them of their potential, never asking for anything in return.
“He was the person who told me I could make a living playing this really interesting instrument and really galvanized in me to be a better musician, and passionate person, and passionate in my endeavors, that’s just the man that he was,” said former student Hiriam Diaz.
Brandon is survived by his wife, daughter, and granddaughter.